Almost all security systems in the modern world rely on a shared secret (password) system of some kind. The premise is that no-one other than the account holder knows the secret, so anyone who knows the secret must be the account holder!
Is there a basis in Halacha for using a piece of secret information to establish credibility (נאמנות)? I am looking for answers based on the rules of נאמנות only which do not rely on extra agreements between the parties.
Here are a few example cases where this would make a difference:
- A Jewish bank offering online money transfer to Jewish customers. What if the customer claims he never signed on and requested the money transfer?
- Sending online payments to a Jewish vendor. What if the vendor claims you sent it to the wrong place?
- Trusting a Psak from an authority which is already נאמן. For example, if I receive an e-mail from a someone claiming to be R' Chaim Kanievsky שליט''א (or his agent) and I want to verify it. (You can use secure hashes to verify identity, they work like passwords).
- ... lots more